SLÀINTE Mhath – Borderers can prepare to raise their glasses after it emerged that a new whisky distillery was in the pipeline.

Plans were submitted to Scottish Borders Council earlier this month to create a new malt whisky distillery at a former farm that draws on the Borders’ natural environment.

The Grahamslaw Distillery Company, led by businesswoman Sarah Lang and a team of whisky experts, aims to transform Grahamslaw Farm, near Kelso, into a high quality, sustainable distillery producing a traditional Lowland single malt.

If approved the distillery would be the second to open locally in recent years – after the Borders Distillery in Hawick.

The long-term objective is to produce whisky leaving a zero-carbon footprint with an environmental legacy running through all aspects of the distillery, from the energy used to the buildings’ conversion and sustainable farming practices.

A unique feature of the farm distillery will be the emphasis on producing authentic ‘field to bottle’ single malt whisky, using only spring barley grown on the 667-acre farm.

READ MORE: Images of new complex set to replace ‘eyesore’ building in Borders made public

Iain Lochhead, operations advisor to Grahamslaw Distillery, said: “Grahamslaw is an ideal location for a malt whisky distillery. Set in a beautiful landscape in the Tweed Valley, it has stunning views overlooking the river Kale, a good water supply from a natural spring, excellent surrounding agricultural land, and good transport links for a distillery.”

The plans submitted include restoring the original farm buildings to incorporate a mash house, traditional dunnage cask storage, a fermentation room and a new still house. A private lunch room for guests, ‘The Long Room’, will open out into a walled garden. Future plans include converting the ruined 17th century Haughead laird’s house into a private whisky tasting house beside the Kale.

“We are incredibly excited to breathe new life into our beautiful old buildings and bring significant economic benefit and employment to both Kelso and the Scottish Borders,” said Mrs Lang, the owner of Grahamslaw Farm and founder of the Grahamslaw Distillery.

She added: “We are passionate about the benefits Grahamslaw Distillery will bring to the Kelso area, a place with which our family has a long history and a deep connection. We will be taking our time to distil and mature the finest malt whisky, and we will be working hard to lead the way in the industry with sustainable and environmentally friendly production and family practices.”

Pending planning consent and construction, distillation is expected to commence at the site in 2024.